River Cruise to the Meeting of the Waters, Lake January and Lunch
- Encontro das Aguas: See where the Amazon begins as the dark Rio Negro meets the sandy-brown Rio Solimoes, flowing side by side without mixing for four miles.
- Native village: Travel via a motorized canoe to a river tribe for demonstrations of rubber tree sap extraction, the making of flour from cassava plants, and native handicrafts.
- January Ecological Park: Enjoy a buffet lunch at a restaurant that floats on Lake January, then head into the jungle to see the huge Victoria regia water lilies.
About this Manaus tour
The rainforest's river systems form a complex transportation network of aquatic highways that have been traveled for eons. You'll navigate part of that network on this tour, including the intersection where the dark Rio Negro merges with the sandy brown Rio Solimoes, though they maintain separate lanes for four miles. It's the on-ramp to the world's largest riverine superhighway: the Amazon.
The river and its tributaries, combined with an annual rainfall of 120 inches, nourish an ecosystem that supports the largest collection of plants and animals in the world. There are more than 390 billion trees here, classified into 16,000 species. And one, the rubber tree known as Hevea brasiliensis, had a profound impact on Manaus, the city that sprouted then nearly withered in the very center of the rainforest.
When 19th-century Europeans discovered that the milky latex of Hevea brasiliensis worked best in the new process of vulcanization, the rubber boom was on, making plantation owners rich. They built grand mansions in Manaus and lavished their largesse on projects like the grand opera house, while the enslaved native tribes who actually tapped the trees and collected the latex nearly perished.
But the boom wouldn't last. Smuggled rubber tree seeds were planted in the British colonies of India and Sri Lanka, where the climate made the trees more productive. By 1910, Manaus' economy had crashed, and the theater fell into a long period of disrepair.
Beginning in the 1950s, a duty-free zone attracted new industry to Manaus, and renovations began on the opera house. Today the city thrives, and the Teatro Amazonas is once again the jewel in its crown. But outside the city, native tribes still tap rubber trees as their ancestors have for more than 3,000 years, bringing a culture that survived slavery and European diseases into the 21st century.
Stretching the truth
The man who probably ended the lucrative monopoly of the Manaus rubber barons was Sir Henry Wickham, credited with bringing 70,000 rubber tree seeds from Brazil to England in 1876. But he exaggerated his story to gain recognition, claiming he had lied to Brazilian customs officials about what the seeds were and then smuggled them out in a gunboat. In reality, there was no Brazilian law against exporting rubber seeds at the time.
On a cruise ship? Meet your driver on the pier, in front of the ship. Please look for the GoBe Representative holding our logo sign with your name. Staying at a hotel? Be sure to advise the GoTo Crew so we can meet you in the lobby.
Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, or steep terrain. This tour is not wheelchair accessible.
Private Tour, Boat Tour, Wilderness/Wildlife, Boat Tour, Full Day
English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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